Posts Tagged ‘health reporting’

Study Versus Headlines at Breakfast

February 21, 2020 — Most often, when the media mangles science, the blame goes to the health reporter. Reporters either misinterpret the research or don’t think critically about how PR is spinning the results. But this week, we have an exceptional case of a top-tier journal publishing conclusions to a study that the data simply do not support. The […]

Classified as Obese, Locked into a Label

January 19, 2020 — It is a telling choice of words. More than half of black women over age 20 are categorized as obese, wrote Joseph Williams. Half of America will be considered obese within this decade, says Alyssa Bethencourt. Oliver Williams writes that 18.9 per cent of children in Year 6 are classified as overweight or obese. These […]

Menu Manifestos Making Massive Meat Mayhem

January 18, 2020 — Meat mayhem marches on in the arcane world of academic nutrition warfare. Humans have a tough time these days with diversity of thinking. Especially if the subject is nutrition. Or food policy. Thus, Rita Rubin served up a compelling account of the ongoing battles about meat in JAMA this week. Avoiding the Meat of the […]

Heritability, Inevitability, and Risk for Obesity

January 9, 2020 — We ought to be the masters of our own fate. Pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. Get up and do what needs to be done. And you know what? Most people do their best. However, this little inspirational talk is no substitute for medical facts. And the fact is that obesity is a highly heritable, […]

Raising Blood Pressure with Sugar

December 22, 2019 — We’ve seen people get quite red in the face when they expound on the how toxic sugar is. Or on the necessity of taxing sugar sweetened beverages. So perhaps arguments about the subject of sugar are raising blood pressure. But no, contrary to a press release from the University of Toronto, sugar itself does not […]

Sizzling Headlines About Brain Damage

November 29, 2019 — The PR team at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) hit a home run this week. They were playing in the ongoing contest to create the most misinformative but sizzling headlines about scientific research. Their winning headline was doozy: MRI reveals brain damage in obese teens. Of course, that misleading press release was only […]

Stigma: The Power and Challenge of Words and Images

October 27, 2019 — Close to 500 science writers gathered at Penn State this weekend for a mix of professional development, scientific briefings, and networking. Within this group, two talented professionals from NIH, Judith Lavelle and Hillary Hoffman, deal with highly stigmatized health conditions every day – HIV, infectious diseases, and immune disorders. But they wanted to do more […]

Three Fixes for a Media Diet of Questionable Science

October 21, 2019 — Will leafy green vegetables prevent dementia? Or does living near heavy traffic cause it? Writing in JAMA, John Ioannidis describes a media diet of questionable science and minor issues. Meanwhile, more substantial health concerns get little attention. He also offers some constructive ideas for improving the the situation. 1. Focus on Bigger Issues Scientific articles […]

Big Baby Food: Hooked on Sugar, Salt, and Fat

October 19, 2019 — Big Baby Food is preying on young parents and their children. That’s the gist of a story in the Washington Post this week. But we wonder how helpful this scary story is for parents who merely want to nourish their infants and toddlers. Simple guidance would be great. Marketing hype and righteous fear mongering, less […]

Ten Tools for Exaggeration in Pediatric Obesity Studies

August 21, 2019 — Tall tales are not just for the literature of Mark Twain. In fact, you can find a few in childhood obesity. A new paper in Obesity Reviews offers an inventory of ten methods for exaggeration of effectiveness in childhood obesity studies. Andrew Brown and colleagues (including ConscienHealth’s Ted Kyle) provide examples of each. Checklists can […]